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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PATHOGEN REDUCTION AND OPTIMIZATION OF WATER USAGE IN POULTRY PROCESSING OPERATIONS

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Title: Effect of washing broiler carcasses in potassium hydroxide and lauric acid on native bacterial flora

Authors
item Hinton, Jr, Arthur
item Northcutt, Julie
item Cason Jr, John
item Smith, Douglas
item Ingram, Kimberly

Submitted to: Feedinfo News Service
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 28, 2007
Publication Date: March 2, 2007
Citation: Hinton Jr, A., Northcutt, J.K., Cason Jr, J.A., Smith, D.P., Ingram, K.D. 2007. Effect of washing broiler carcasses in potassium hydroxide and lauric acid on native bacterial flora. Feedinfo News Service. See Feedinfo.com for article. http://www.feedinfo.com.

Interpretive Summary: Processed poultry carcasses can be contaminated by many types of bacteria. Some of these bacteria can cause illnesses in humans, while other types of bacteria found on broiler carcasses can cause spoilage of fresh poultry products. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if washing broiler carcasses in a solution of potassium hydroxide and lauric acid (KOH- LA) could reduce the number of bacteria found on the carcasses. Fresh broiler carcasses were washed in KOH- LA or in water for 1 minute. Each carcass was washed 3 times in fresh solutions, and the number of bacteria remaining on the carcasses was determined after each wash. Results from the experiments indicated that after each wash, fewer bacteria were recovered from carcasses washed in KOH-LA than from carcasses washed in water. Some harmful bacteria were removed from carcasses after washing only once in KOH- LA. Findings from this study show that washing broiler carcasses in KOH-LA can decrease the number of bacteria found on poultry carcasses. Reducing of the number of harmful and spoilage bacteria on carcasses might reduce the number of human foodborne illnesses associated with poultry products and extend the shelf life of fresh poultry.

Technical Abstract: Experiments were conducted to examine the bactericidal effect of potassium hydroxide (KOH) and lauric acid (LA) on the native bacterial flora of broiler carcasses. Carcasses were placed in solutions of 1.0% KOH and 2.0 % LA or in distilled water (control) and washed by shaking for 1 min on a mechanical shaker. Whole-carcass-rinses (WCR) were performed to recover bacteria from carcasses following each of 3 successive washes in KOH-LA or water. Total plate count bacteria (TPC), Campylobacter, and Escherichia coli in the native bacterial flora were enumerated by culturing rinsates on Plate Count Agar, Campylobacter Agar, and Petrifilm, respectively. Results indicated that significantly fewer TPC bacteria were recovered from carcasses washed in KOH-LA than from carcasses washed in water; however, there was no significant difference in the number of TPC bacteria recovered from carcasses washed 1, 2, or 3 times in KOH-LA. No Campylobacter or E. coli were recovered from carcasses following the first KOH-LA wash, although these bacteria were recovered from carcasses following the first wash in water. Repeated washing in water did not significantly reduce the number of Campylobacter recovered from the carcasses, but no E. coli were recovered from carcasses after the third wash in water. Findings from this study indicate that washing broiler carcasses in KOH-LA can reduce bacterial contamination of poultry carcasses. Reducing of the number of pathogenic and spoilage bacteria on processed carcasses might reduce the number of foodborne illnesses associated with poultry products and extend the shelf life of fresh poultry.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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